Childbearing importance: A qualitative study of women with infertility in China

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Childbearing importance, referring to the functions that childbearing serves or the needs it fulfills for individuals, greatly influences the fertility awareness and behaviors of adult couples (Nauck & Klaus, 2007). In one analysis, childbearing importance as perceived by women with infertility reflected the degree to which socio‐contextual factors permeated their childbearing attitudes, which ultimately determined their psychosocial wellbeing (Moura‐Ramos, Gameiro, Canavarro, Soares, & Santos, 2012). Women with fertility problems reported high prevalence of psychological distress, with anxiety the most frequent diagnosis, followed by major depression, dysthymic disorder, and even suicidal ideation (Chen, Chang, Tsai, & Juang, 2004; Kjaer, Jensen, Dalton, Johansen, Schmiedel, & Kjaer, 2011).
Women's infertility‐related distress may be directly proportional to how important childbearing is to them. Those infertile females who internalized children as a life necessity experienced poorer psychosocial adjustment (Ahrabi & Akbari, 2015; Bayley, Slade, & Lashen, 2009). Conversely, and not surprisingly, women who were more flexible about biological parenthood appeared to handle stressful situations better and reported fewer depressive symptoms in relation to their infertility (Thompson, Woodward, & Stanton, 2011). Understanding how infertile women perceive the functions and meanings of having children can assist clinical professionals in identifying patients’ fertility‐related demands and subsequently improving their psychological wellbeing.

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